Category Archives: Rants, Quotes and Opinion

Would you shower at Manchester airport?

I’m going on holiday and flying from Manchester airport. Whilst checking out the various stores and duty free goodies on offer I learnt they have shower facilities. Fab- a nice way to cool down after a plane! Wait- these aren’t luxury spa like centres or free gym experiences, they’re budget showers for the budget customers and are they worth the £6.50 charge?

So what do you get?

Prices
Shower and change – £6.50 per person
Leisure facilities, shower and change – £12.00 per person

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday from 6am
Saturday and Sunday from 8am

The shower facilities have no picture, so you don’t know if they’re luxury or basic- and if you get freebies like shampoo/towels. We are told that they’re offered by Radisson SAS Hotel Manchester Airport which offers no info on their site. Sure, the hotel looks nice- but where exactly are you showering. I don’t feel inclined to try- do you?

{not actual shower pictured}

 

 

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Gucci gives the Fiat 500 a facelift with the 500byGucci

The Fiat 500 is traditionally a girls car. Fiat might argue against this, but the legions of women in love with this baby would protest otherwise.It’s small, it’s zippy, heck it’s so cute it almost looks like it’s smiling, which means I’m quite happy saying this is a car that I’d happily drive around town, decorated with a furry steering wheel (or two).

To celebrate Gucci’s 90th anniversary (wow!) and the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the brands are joing forces to create a super stylish Fiat500 which has been Gucci’d to the hilt.

The humble Fiat500 has had a couture car makeover, with a glossy pearl glass paint exterior and a choice of shiny or stain chrome interior (depending on the car colour). The traditional Gucci stripes give the car a racing feel, whilst added extras such as contrasting black and ivory panels and two tone leather seats give it a fel of luxury. The signature Gucci print is repeated inside the car, with the Guccissima print on the seatbelt and seats and the interior looks beautiful and strokeable, and would make for a comfortable journey.

 I wasn’t sure about this idea to begin with, as I thought a Porsche/Gucci collab might make more sense, but I like how they’ve given luxurious touches to an affordable car, and the sleek design is attarctive not tacky. Gucci has an image of glamour and attractiveness and they have done a good job of combining this with car elements.

The Fiat 500 by Gucci will be available in the UK with 2 engine sized, 1.2 litres  £14,565 OTR  and 0.9 litres for £15,765 OTR. The low engine size should keep your insurance low which is a bonus! This Italian car is truly divine, and it makes me want to renew my driving licence and invite some of the lovely looking Gucci models to come and party with me!


[This post was sponsored, but opinion is 100% honest]
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Posted in Geekery that's Gorgeous, Rants, Quotes and Opinion | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Seven sweet Tips to keep your wallet holiday happy

I’m blogging for a chance to win a trip to Cuba with On the Beach! Check out their competition at the On the Beach blog

1. Cut Call costs
Get gadget savvy before you go and you’ll save a lot of cash in the long run. Many mobile operators require you to give up to two weeks’ notice if you’re going abroad- otherwise you’ll get penalized for calls made AND received. Think about investing in a special holiday SIM card such as UK2 Abroad with cheap fixed rates on dialling different countries.  If you can’t bear to leave your iPhone at home, invest in a micro SIM card cutter for your iPhone and Apple joy abroad is yours.

2. Be the currency Queen
It’s easy to get confused when travelling abroad as the exchange rates vary, banks are unhelpful and carrying loads of strange coins is a nightmare. Check the currency rate before you go on http://www.xe.com and then change up some money in advance before you go- don’t get stuck at the airport with zero £! Change your money BEFORE the airport as they do worse rates there than at the post office, so you’ll get more cash for your, er, cash. Many cards charge you money to withdraw cash abroad, so look into registering a credit card which allows for free withdrawals such as the Halifax Charity card. It will also mean that when you buy expensive goods (over £100) you have increased buyer protection.

3. Get Groupon savvy
We’re massive Groupon fans in the UK, but did you realize it actually started in the USA? Make the most of it before your trip by buying cheap activities in the country you’re going too. At the moment you can get 2 for 1 meals in Calais, and lovely hair treatments for $20 in Seattle!

4. Strut your student stuff
If you’re lucky enough to have a student card you’ll be able to get great discounts everywhere you go, from reduced admission at museums and theme parks to low cost hostel rooms. If you’re not if the student persuasion but under 35 you might still qualify for some discounts abroad- so always enquire when you book. A winning smile never hurts either!

5. Cheap transport from Craigslist
I’m not going to suggest you use a site like Couchsurfing for free rooms (whilst reputable, can be a bit scary) but using Craigslist(much bigger abroad than in the UK!) for free rides around the place your visiting is fine. It’s great to check it if you’re travelling to a festival as the likelihood is lots of people will be going that way, and sharing cash for petrol is cheaper than a taxi. You might make some friends as well!

6. Smart Beauty buyer
Make sure to pack all the products you love into your bag- there’s no telling if Spain will have your favourite shampoo or cotton buds, and cutting back on your products to save space in your suitcase can be a costly mistake. Don’t go crazy buying stuff from every boutique to go to- have a beauty checklist depending on the region (L’Occitane for example in France) and stock up on hard to get items. Make the most of duty free as well- many airports let you buy stuff and pick it up on the way home-woo!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2OfQdYrHRs&w=560&h=349]
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A beauty bloggers dilemma on how to React / Review a bad event or treatment

There comes a moment in every bloggers/ journalists life where something unexpected happens. The new phones you’re given to review breaks down, you get a horrific rash at a spa, or you go on a yoga retreat that proves unfulfilling. In each case we’ve had the treatment/ experience for free, and are duty bound (especially on anything that involves flights) to write something about the event. I would never EVER lie and make something that was negative into a positive, but I also don’t want to upset the lovely PR girl who I’ve just spent 2 days with on an island.

I know the PR lady will appreciate that my negative stance is not shared by everyone, but the fact remains I had a rubbish time. I could turn my trip to the unfortunate spa into a news story; this exists, you get this, costs x much to get there- but that doesn’t really give the readers any value and the actual client won’t be thrilled with this snippet not after all their (misguided) effort to impress.

There’s also the problem of your relationship with the PR, especially after two days cooped up together and learning about her sick kids/ evil boyfriend/ etc. This used to be a lot simpler before the days of blogs as some (not me) might say one thing whilst think another, but now if that were to happen and bloggers were to slate said event you’d look rather awkward and fake.

This is about what I should do though- as I’m sure all the other writers there will have their own stance. I can’t justify telling people to spend £x amount (quite high) for a day that I felt had minimal value, but then I did fo to the trial session, so I could talk about that. I could write a critique of the event with a positive spin- what was good (one or two things) what was bad (8 things) and finish with ‘it has potential when more developed. Continue reading

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Posted in Rants, Quotes and Opinion | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Bedroom Scene Tumblr is great for daily design drooling

Looking for some design inspiration? The Bedroom Scene Tumblr will have you heading to B&Q with renewed purpose- love these images! Continue reading

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Psst! MAC to launch a beauty blogger makeup line!

The folks over at BellaSugar have the lowdown on something very exciting- a beauty blogger/ MAC makeup mashup. The Beauty blogging world goes kerazzy over MAC stuff, so it’s only fair they now get to share just why they love it so. A super secret trip saw 10 elite bloggers (Temptalia, obv) head over to MAC HQ for testing and trialling and a range of limited edition loveliness will be coming our way soon.

Will it have the charm of MAC Fafi or the collectability of Hello Kitty? I loved MAC Heatherette, personally… Continue reading

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The SIX different types of beauty bloggers

Blogging has had a great deal of press lately, partly due to how many of us there are, and also due to inflammatory media stories such as 13 year old Tavi’s front row position at New York fashion week. The leads us to question further the role of the blogger in everyday media, and identify just who these so called bloggers are. Can people who have been involved in the industry for a short span of time really be valuable as critics, or does passion and enthusiasm outweigh years of expertise and in depth knowledge? Hmm.

Weigh this against the fact that many home grown bloggers have no financial constraints, such as advertorial policies or big brands to please and you start to question the authenticity of everything. In one respect, start up blogs are the most honest as people review products they buy, but as their readership grows and they get stuff for free**, everything becomes *slightly* compromised. I’m not saying this to disparage anyone, as I personally receive around half the samples I review gratis, but to make people aware of quite how confusing the industry is.

Here’s my guide to the beauty bloggers that you’ll experience.

The Bedroom Beauty Blogger

In a sense, this is where it all begins. The technological age has meant that scribbling in diaries are now replaced by musing on blogs, with Blogger.com (gives the url .blogspot.com) being the preferred platform due to its incredibly simple set up process. These bloggers share their unbiased opinion on a wide variety of products to the world. They often provide swatch tests of various palettes, and go into great detail on everything they buy, providing a comprehensive view of their product purchases. They blog for the love of it, and this is evident in their writing, sharing their experience with other readers, and commenting on products they love and hate. There are a huge number of these blogs out there, of varying quality, but the ones which have been going for a long time have a very loyal readership- the goal being to make it into the next category!

The Bedroom Blogger gone Big

Bloggers have been getting a lot of national press coverage lately, and this has had a positive effect on their blog figures and reach. It’s natural to piggyback off this success, and this leads to the more famous bloggers getting magazine column deals, TV appearances and in the case of Lauren Luke (the famous YouTube girl Panacea81) her own cosmetic line!  Whilst these writers are still in it for the love, the likelihood is that they’re verging (or have made the move) to beauty writing full time,  thus losing the amount of time they have to dedicate to their blog as they’re now contributing to all different sources. Now they’re being paid to write about things they love, they’ll also come across the thorny issue of making sure they keep their integrity when they’re being offered loads of free stuff. Great ones to read are All Lacquered Up and Lauren Luke.

The  Blogging Company

One of the first blogging companies in the UK was Shiny Media (now Shiny Digital and Aigua Media) which was a blog network. It was founded by three people who loved the blogging medium and they decided to work on this full time, and monetize it. They employed full time staff bloggers, paid to write editorial on beauty and style with no constraints, a online editors in the blogging world. The world we live in means that a web presence is now enough, and that a physical presence like a magazine is now unnecessary (Sugar Magazine closed and now they only have their website). This is probably the type of role most bedroom bloggers dream of, and if they create a strong enough presence for themselves, something they may well get. Great examples of Blogging Companies are Handbag, BitchBuzz, iVillage and Handpicked Media.

The  Company Blogger a.k.a The Magazine blogger / Web Editor

Rewind back 10 years and it’s extremely unlikely that most major magazines had any sort of web presence. Sure, they might have a holding page, but they didn’t have content regularly uploaded, or any kind of ongoing story, or regular writers- the essence of a true blog. Nowadays most magazines have a dedicated web team (often made up of interns and junior staff) who update the site with stories and galleries, and allow readers to comment on articles. These sites have the budget of the magazine to use in terms of design and layout and also the same access as the magazine staff to product releases, exclusives etc.  Some that I think are particularly well done are Grazia, Vogue, Elle and Company- no real surprise there, eh? The one way in which these sites sometimes lose face is the fact that they may have the same advertorial pressure that magazine writers have to deal with , where they *may* not be allowed to criticize the product of a major sponsor. This can mean you’ll only ever see glowing reviews, and never know about products they don’t rate, as whilst (hopefully) won’t lie, they may not feature ones they don’t consider worthy. Some magazines are still slightly backwards in promoting a web presence, and good learn a trick or two from the ones mentioned. Continue reading

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